Democrats’ new $3 trillion coronavirus bill includes $5 MILLION for lawmakers to buy new laptops and upgrade WiFi to cope with working remotely
- Nancy Pelosi unveiled the new $3 trillion coronavirus legislation on Tuesday
- One stipulation for the Legislative Branch would give $5 million to House offices to advance their technological capabilities for lawmakers and staffers
- It would be used for upgrading ‘imaging solution’ to meet the demand for ‘House imaged laptops’
- Also would increase ‘inventory of satellite phone, Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspots, and updated satellite bandwidth technologies’ in home district offices
- The legislation addition comes as lawmakers and their employees cope with new virtual work with very little time on Capitol Hill
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
House offices will receive funding to buy new laptops for themselves and their staffers if the new $3 trillion coronavirus package passes as is, a draft of the legislation revealed Tuesday.
In the seventh section of the massive package, there are only two stipulations for financial assistance for the legislative branch, including $5 million to increase technological advances and inventory for members of Congress and their staff.
That number will include money to upgrading ‘imaging solution’ to meet the demand for ‘House imaged laptops.’
‘[T]his funding will support an increase in inventory of satellite phone, Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspots, and updated satellite bandwidth technologies to meet escalating demand of District Offices during COVID-19,’ the 90-page summary of the HEROES Act outlines.
It also says that part of the $5 million will be used to fund the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which was formed to provide oversight for economic aid and stimulus allocated to mitigate the fallout from the pandemic.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled the new coronavirus legislation on Tuesday, which would give $5 million to House offices to advance their technological capabilities
The money would be used for lawmakers and their staff, in part, to get new cell phones and laptops. Here Senate Minority Leader chuck Schumer is on his flip phone
The bill allocates ‘$5 million to support an upgraded imaging solution required to expediently and efficiently meet the demand for House imaged laptops due to COVID-19. In addition, this funding will support an increase in inventory of satellite phone, Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspots, and updated satellite bandwidth technologies to meet escalating demand of District Offices during COVID-19’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled on Tuesday the latest coronavirus legislation, the sixth since the start of the outbreak, which would double the amount of money the federal government has put toward stimulus and relief in the midst of the pandemic.
The only other bit of financial assistance for the Legislative Branch in the new bill is for the Government Accountability Office.
The $30 million will help the GAO conduct oversight of the distribution and use of funding allocated in coronavirus stimulus packages to federal agencies and departments.
Top lawmakers are dealing with proposals to increase remote working and voting capabilities for lawmakers and their staff as representatives and senators have cycled in and out of quarantine and at least a dozen Capitol police officers and other staff have tested positive for the virus.
The money for technological advances doesn’t stop with Congress as most of the country is now working in a semi- or fully-remote capacity and schools are conducting classes online.
HEROES includes $1.5 billion for broadband and Wi-Fi hotspots to areas where people are struggling to access high-speed internet as schools and jobs go virtual – described in the bill as ‘closing the homework gap’ for students with limited internet accessibility.
The majority of the new bill, one-third of the $3 trillion, is going towards state, local, tribal and territory governments to help pay essential workers.